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Take a new view of the rail journey from Huddersfield to Leeds

Short films part of novel art project for rail operator

It's a journey taken by thousands of people every day.

But now there’s a new look at what for many is a routine commute.

Rail company First TransPennine Express has joined up with West Yorkshire’s Arts Council England-funded Creative People and Places programme, Creative Scene, to produce a series of short films capturing the thoughts of rail passengers and employees.

And the films take a behind-the-scenes look at the daily lives of the staff and customers travelling its routes, especially the line between Huddersfield and Leeds.

Even Felix, the world-famous Huddersfield station cat, gets a cameo role in one of the films, Riding West Riding, created by Alistair Macdonald and Kevin Threlfall of Eastergate Films.

Focusing on a route which is used by more than 350,000 passengers every year, Creative Scene commissioned four professional film-makers to travel along the line over four weeks last Autumn, capturing behind-the-scenes dialogue and interaction with staff and customers after being given an open ‘ticket to ride’ by the train operator.

The short films feature an insight into the journey and demonstrate the complexities of maintaining FTPE’s daily train network across Kirklees and beyond.

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The films will be screened to stakeholders at the First TransPennine Express training and development centre, ‘The Hub’, in Huddersfield on March 17, ahead of being shared at additional venues and festivals across Kirklees over the coming months.

Kate Lamb, Community and Business Improvement Manager at First TransPennine Express, said: “We have supported local communities in various ways since the start of our franchise in 2004. This project provides a unique perspective on the journey of one of our key commuter routes, and working alongside Creative Scene to involve our customers and employees with the project allows us to inspire and promote creativity and encourage more people to become involved with future projects.

Riding The Riding - a film shot on the Huddersfield to Leeds rail line

“Our reputation as a good neighbour and an active community partner is important to our employees, stakeholders and customers, and is therefore at the heart of the business.”

The project – titled ‘The Next Station Will Be...’ follows a run of successful arts engagement collaborations between First TransPennine Express and Creative Scene that have taken place over the last year across West Yorkshire train stations including Dewsbury and Batley.

Funded by Arts Council England, the Creative People and Places programme is an arts and social change initiative designed to engage new audiences and participants in the arts.

Nancy Barrett, Director at Creative Scene, said: “Partnering with like-minded organisations such as First TransPennine Express gives us the platforms that have enabled us to present high quality arts events to over 10,000 new arts audiences in the places where they live, work and socialise.”



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